After I first hit the publish button on this blog I didn’t know what to expect. I knew it felt scary. There was an uncertainty about it that rattled me and yet made me feel alive. As I’ve said before it completely blew my mind to discover people read what I wrote. It was as if I had been having this private dialogue in a crowded room and suddenly the music went silent and I was shouting for all to hear. My voice at once seeming uncomfortably loud.

At that moment, I hoped I’d have something worthy of hearing. I was fortunate to get encouragement from those close to me and some on the fringes as well, but none more unexpected than Dave Johnson. My dear friend Michelle’s dad. In his seventies, retired with adult children. This grandfather didn’t fit my reader demographic. Not one little bit, or so I thought.

Things I shared connected with him and Dave became one of my biggest fans. He didn’t just read my posts, he commented, he shared, and best of all he reassured me that I should keep at it. He had expanded his reading from the sports page to a mom blog. It took both of us by surprise. When it came down to it, Dave loved his family deeply and that was all we needed in common. Sometimes I would be writing and think to myself “I wonder if Dave will enjoy this one?”

Sadly, Dave passed away. He had long battled a bum ticker and suffered complications during bypass surgery. His heart may not have worked well, but it was full of love. I will miss knowing he is reading. I’m grateful he reached out and let me know he was there.

I didn’t know Dave all that well. It wasn’t until sitting around a table with his daughters laughing at old photos of powder blue bell bottoms that I learned his drink of choice was a Brandy Godfather.  Add a shared appreciation of amaretto to our list of things in common. A loss makes usphoto look back and those old photos told stories of good times shared. But it isn’t all about looking back, death has a funny way of making us live. It reminds us how precious time is. It encourages us to not take tomorrow for granted.

Life can seem so complicated, but it really isn’t. We over-think it, we over-schedule it. In the end, it boils down to love. Love those in your life with conviction. None of us know when our time here is done. None of us know when we will lose a loved one. What we do know, is that it will likely happen before we are ready.

It would’ve been easy for Dave to read and remain anonymous, but instead, he put himself out there and shared his softer side. I’m so glad he did. It was just what I needed. A good reminder that our time is limited, but our opportunity to impact others has no boundary.

Rest in peace Dave. This one’s for you.